So, you’ve created a Facebook fan page for your nonprofit and now you’re waiting for the hoards to join. As with all social networking tools, there’s more to building a community of followers than simply creating a profile or, in the case of Facebook, a fan page. Here are my top 5 tips for building a fan base.
- Invite your stakeholders - People are not going to search your nonprofit out on Facebook. You need to lead them there. Use every means at your disposal. Put a link to your fan page on your website. If you are on other social media networks, such as Twitter, lead folks to your page using those as well. Write about your fan page in your newsletter, announce it at community or stakeholder meetings, link to it as part of your staff e-mail signatures. Remind people about it. Telling them once isn’t enough.
- Change your default landing page – When new visitors come to your page, have them land on your info page (which contains an engaging message about your organization), rather than your page’s wall? Why? Because a fan page wall can look a bit disorganized and hard to sort out to a new visitor. Visitors might also first view fan comments before having a context for your page. Your landing page could influence the visitor’s decision to join. You can set the landing page from the “edit” link under “wall settings”.
- Engage your audience – Don’t treat your fan page as though it is a newsletter. Use the SOCIAL part of social networking to engage your fans. Pose questions to your followers to encourage discussion rather than just post information. Ask for input, post a quiz or survey about your cause or issue.
- Remain active - Don’t let your page languish. Try to post something at least every couple of days or so or you risk fan drop off. Also make sure that you are monitoring fan comments/posts to your wall. Respond to them! When a fan takes the step to actually participate, reward them by acknowledging it. This encourages more participation and engagement.
- Use a Facebook ad - You can do a lot to promote your page organically but a few shots of Facebook advertising can go a long way to increase your numbers. Facebook advertising is incredibly inexpensive and allows you to target specific demographics. A good starting approach is to target the friends of those who are already fans of your page. Facebook does a pretty good job of step-by-step instructions for posting an ad so if you haven’t posted an ad before, start here.
Having a Facebook fan page can be an incredible way to build community around your cause or issue. I’d love to hear how your nonprofit uses its fan page and what success you’ve had with it. Anything you’d add to the above list?
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